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Apple's AirPlay: What it is and how it's different from AirTunes

  macslocum's Photo
Posted Oct 27 2010 04:41 AM

During a recent interview with iPad/iPhone/iPod author J.D. Biersdorfer, I asked about Apple's new AirPlay streaming technology. Below, she described the new system.

What is AirPlay? What will it allow consumers to do?

J.D. Biersdorfer: AirPlay is a technology that lets you stream the music in your iTunes library on the computer all over the house to compatible stereo receivers, speaker docks and other audio gear in the A/V rack.

It goes beyond what the old AirTunes system did. With AirTunes, you could connect an AirPort Express base station to a stereo or powered speakers to play your iTunes library. AirPlay can connect more audio devices over your home network.

A bunch of third-party manufacturers, like Denon and JBL, are making AirPlay-ready receivers and stereo systems that work with iTunes. Some of these boxes can even display the same track information you have on your iTunes music files. If you have an iPod Touch, you can use Apple's free Remote app to control the music over the network.


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